Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday Tale from my Past: Driving Part II

If you missed Part 1.... please click here

We left off in the summer of 1967...with me promising myself I'd learned to drive
a 5 in the floor aka manual transmission.
Fast forward to 1973.  We had been married 3 years
Hubby had a Buick auto transmission.  
Hubby knew of my desire to learn to drive a 5 speed.
I sold my Mustang after our daughter was born because it has bucket seats which did not accommodate a baby seat.  He decided to sale his Buick.  We bought a Saab 5 speed.  The color was a cross between Army Green and avocado.

Since I was not working,  this was our only car so I had to learn how to drive it...
quickly.  My hubby was a wonderful teacher and very patient with me...even when
I didn't completely engage the clutch while changing gears.  However, it turns out
I had a natural gift for driving a 5 speed. However, I would remiss, if at this point, if I did not
mention the one FACT. There was one time, early in my lessons, I forgot to put it in park or set the emergency break.  The good news is our drive way was fairly flat but the car did roll down into the back yard.  I don't remember exactly what stopped the car, possibly a sandbox.  Thankfully it did not hit the neighbors fence.  No children, pets or peeps were harmed...just my pride...but I learned a lesson!! This was a good car but had a lousy paint job.  I guess the Southern summers were no match for the Swedish paint.
If you rubbed against the Saab you were covered in a greenish powdery substance.
After this car we had a Honda Prelude, 5 speed and  Ford Explorer 5 speed.
Now we have automatic transmissions but a 5 speed is like a bike once you learn you never forget.

Which is the rest of this driving story.
Before I went back to work at NCSU in 1988, I worked in private industry.
at a Hollow metal manufacturing company from 1984-1988.
(I will tell you more about that next week)
 I was one of four women in the front office of the hollow metal company.
There were probably 10 or more metal workers and installers in the shop.
One day shortly after lunch there were two of us up front  and one man in the back.
All of a sudden the man came to the office with his hand wrapped in a rather bloody towel.
He had a cut his hand not horribly but he needed to go to the ER for stitches and could not drive.
He asked if one of us could drive him in his truck.  It was 5 speed and I was the only one there who
could drive a 5 speed.  So my determination to learn to drive a 5 speed came in handy.
I guess I can thank those crazy drunk skunks in 1967 for making me see the
need to learn to drive a 5 speed.


  1. such self-driving cars are a nightmare, think even google had to learn that :o) my father forgot this once and while he was in a store his car passed by... and he sadly couldn't run as fast as the car...it landed in a construction fence and we had a car with duct tape decoration for a while.
    Glad you could drive with this man to ER, even a bad adventure like the evening with this bottle-kids was good for something :o)

  2. Our current car is the only automatic SHE's had! You're right, once you learn, you can always drive one.

  3. I had the opposite problem when I went to work in Oklahoma and the company provided me with an automatic to drive. I'd always before driven a manual, and so had to ask the guy who gave me the keys what to do. After rolling his eyes to heaven, his short lesson consisted of pointing and saying "that's drive, that's reverse, that's park" and rapidly walking away leaving me to it.
    Cheers! Gail.

  4. Hari om
    Hehehe! Yes, here in Blighty, automatics were considered exotic and we all learned stick shift (that's changed now of course). The first time I drove auto, had similar experience to Gail! YAM xx

  5. Mom learned to drive manuals too, long ago. The first week, she was hated by everyone on the road, since she wouldn't shift out of second!

  6. Pretty amazing! And yes, thank goodness for silly drunk boys who pushed you to learn to drive manual and later save your co-workers hand! These were both really fun stories - more stories please!

  7. Mom once forgot to put the parking break on in her Mom's driveway! Fortunately, it made it across the street without any problems!!!!!

    Hugs, your guy Raz and The Florida Furkids

  8. Sure looks like you learning how to drive a five-speed was really a good thing Good for you. It is fun to do that.You all have a great day.

  9. Yay Mom, you saved the day by driving that 5 speed to the ER.

  10. Always good to know how to drive a stick... you did good! Can't tell you how many times we have had a car roll... oops! Cross between Army green and avocado... Hahaha!

  11. Momma never learned how to drive a stick. She says she's happy sticking to automatics!

  12. You hit the nail on the head talking about the car rolling back because that is the one thing with anything that has a clutch that can happen if we are not thinking. I love this story and waiting for more. My mom had to drive a stick shift when we moved to Kentucky and she had never seen a mountain or a hill because we lived in flat country only and she had to learn to turn the wheel to wards the sidewalk when parking on a hill. When I worked in Automotive in 1984 one of the sales ladies could not drive a 3-speed or a 5-speed or anything with a clutch so it became my job when she had to put one on the right to sell tires or whatever was wrong with it I had to drive it on the rack for her

  13. Mom's a country girl so she learned to drive driving tractors and such as a child. Stick shifts were no problem for her. Now that she's lots older, well lets say Mom has a deep appreciation for automatic transmissions.

    We loved your story and looking forward to more.

    Molly and my Mom @The Fast and The Furriest


  14. My Dad says those manual transmissions were fun...after you get the hang of it!

  15. Personally, I think knowing how to drive a manual transmission should be on one's job resume! A LOT OF FOLKS CAN'T, so it makes us stand out in the crowd, so to speak...

  16. Ghostwriter drove an old VW stick shift for a while. It's not that hard. It just takes practice.

  17. The first vehicle I was allowed, after the tractor, was a 56 ford pickup. It had three i=on the tree (column). After that My husband had a '69 VW bug. driving an automatic was easy after learning a standard!

  18. Oh, we bet that man with the hurt hand was very thankful that someone could drive that truck. If we ever need a 5 speed driver, we know who to call:)

    Woos - Lightning and Misty

  19. I learned to drive in a Volkswagen so I understand. I always hated starting off on a lean of any sort. It would make be break out in a cold sweat for the first year of driving. LOL!

  20. OMD OMD OMCCccccccccccc This is a grand story. We love how Learning a Good Lesson can be a Life Saver in the future. BRAVO to YOU fur being a Determined Young Lady and Well Schooled Woman. Truly glad that nothing and no One was injured in the ONE and ONLY small Incident.

  21. Madi tell your Mom this story of hers was FABULOUS. We couldn't wait to hear all of it and I'm glad we DID hear it all - love the ending where she is the only one to be able to drive the guy to the emergency room! YAY! Flashbacks are always fun.......

    Love, Angel Sam and TEddy

  22. O my! That is a story. Mom tried a 5 speed once. We hurt our necks when she was driving. It's called whiplash
    Lily & Edward

  23. What a great memory story! thanks for sharing
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  24. Mom was hysterical about the rolling backwards incident☺ When you're just learning to drive standard, you have to learn how much gas to give when the clutch is in to move the car forward. Mom failed miserably and rolled backwards down a hill in the road. Hills were hardest! Luckily, no car was behind her!
    We are just loving your trips down Memory Lane☺

  25. Great stories. I wish I had learned to drive a 5-speed, my hubby has a 1969 Mustang I would love to drive.

  26. What a great story! We especially like the part where the car went rolling into the backyard! Our Mama(and her sister and brother) learned to drive in a Volkswagon van that was a five speed. Grandpa said it went through one transmission for every child he taught to drive BOL!!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  27. Crikey ..... those two drunk blokes came in handy after all, aye?? I would have liked to see their faces when they woke up and read your friend's note. My Mum learnt to drive when she was 10. I don't think there was anything but manuals in those days. She still prefers to drive a manual than an automatic.

  28. I learned to drive a stick shift on Charlie's Saab when we first started dating. That car had the hardest stick in the world. I haven't driven one for quite a while but, like you, I bet I could do it now if needed.

  29. I'm so impressed that you learned how to drive a 5 speed. I tried and tried, but could never get the knack of it. ~Island Cat Mom

  30. Ma LOOOOOVES manual transmissions! She misses her VW Rabbit sooooo much! That was one pawsome car, let me tell you! It had better handling than any sports car! She now drives an automatic, butts misses her manual trans so much! She doesn't have a great story like your Moms....okays, once she screwed up her left knee and was in a full leg brace, and had to use her crutch to push down the clutch to drive! she got pretty good at it too! Butts, she decided that it probably wasn't the safest thing in the world....☺
    Ruby ♥

  31. I am so used to them, I will even try and change gears on an automatic!


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